My Bossier has
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
My Bossier has
Very nice article at Return to the fold St. George’s Anglican Church in Rogers takes a first step in uniting with the Roman Catholic Church.
Tip of the hat to The Anglo-Catholic
There are cultural tendencies that seek to anesthetize consciences with misleading motivations. With regard to the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy capable of interaction with the mother, the coordination of biological processes, the continuity of development, the growing complexity of the organism. This is not an accumulation of biological material, but a new living being, dynamic and wonderfully ordered, a new unique human being. So was Jesus in Mary's womb, so it was for all of us in our mother’s womb. With the ancient Christian writer Tertullian we can say: " he who will be a man is already one" (Apologeticum IX, 8), there is no reason not to consider him a person from conception.Unfortunately, even after birth, the lives of children continue to be exposed to abandonment, hunger, poverty, disease, abuse, violence or exploitation. The many violations of their rights that are committed in the world sorely hurt the conscience of every man of good will. Before the sad landscape of the injustices committed against human life, before and after birth, I make mine Pope John Paul II’s passionate appeal to the responsibility of each and every individual: " respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!"(Encyclical Evangelium vitae, 5). I urge the protagonists of politics, economic and social communications to do everything in their power to promote a culture which respects human life, to provide favorable conditions and support networks for the reception and development of life.
Lord Jesus, You who faithfully visit and fulfil with your Presence the Church and the history of men; You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood render us participants in divine Life and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life; We adore and bless you.
Prostrate before You, source and lover of Life, truly present and alive among us, we beg you:
Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life, make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb the miraculous work of the Creator, open our hearts to generously welcoming every child that comes into life.
Bless all families, sanctify the union of spouses, render fruitful their love.
Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies with the light of your Spirit, so that peoples and nations may recognise and respect the sacred nature of life, of every human life.
Guide the work of scientists and doctors, so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person, and no one endures suppression or injustice.
Gift creative charity to administrators and economists, so they may realise and promote sufficient conditions so that young families can serenely embrace the birth of new children
Console the married couples who suffer because they are unable to have children and in Your goodness provide for them.
Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children, so they may experience the warmth of your Charity, the consolation of your divine Heart.
Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer, in whose womb you took on our human nature, we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Saviour, the strength to love and serve life, in anticipation of living forever in You, in communion with the Blessed Trinity.
Or to be more specific to the people that leaked to him. See WikiLeaks' actions are immoral, says priest-author
Tip of the Hat to Pewcenter.
There are many problems with this Wikileaks mess. First a huge ole cable drop is not responsible. This is NOT the Pentagon Papers. This is political voyeurism dressed up as some nobility.
Further we are only seeing a very partial picture of how policy is made. We are only seeing a few cables. We have no idea what we are missing and not seeing as information is collected so the President can make policy choices. Woodward made this point last night quite well on Larry King .
We now have a wonderful example of this as to the diplomatic cables regarding who would the next Pope after John Paul II.
Father Z recaps the media coverage and in fact the link he has shows the problem in a vivid way. See Wikileak-ed diplomatic cables about the 2005 election of Pope Benedict
One gets the indication that perhaps the Government was shocked in D.C. that Ratzinger was elected Pope!! But were they?
Appears not and it appears that President George Bush was not shocked at all.
Let us now recall the time period. Our Embassy was in a tad of flux during this period. The Envoy to the Holy See , Jim Nicholson , who had been in that post shortly after 9/11, had just left six weeks before John Paul the II death to become Secretary of Veterans Affairs. It would not be till early 2008 that the new Envoy Mary Ann Glendon would take here post there.
Recently Catholic University held a wonderful discussion about the history of the Diplomatic relations between the United States and the Holy See. See here. (note in the description they get the dates of Nicholson's tenure at the Vatican wrong). There was a wonderful panel discussion that was had which you can view here.
James Nicholson is on that panel. If you go to the 32.30 second mark you will hear a wonderful and indeed funny story story. Nicholson describes being on Air Force One with President Clinton and President Bush. They were on the way to the funeral of John Paul the II. He was asked who would be the next POPE.
Again it is a nice and funny story so watch it. However he recaps that every three months part of his job was to talk about who the future Pope would be. President Clinton got President Bush to make Nicholson open up on Air Force One who the Pope would be. Referencing that report he he said RATZINGER. He then goes over that discussion he had with both Bush and Clinton as to why Ratzinger would be Pope. He was referencing that report he sent to the State Dept just a few months before!! So yes President Bush had good indications from the "horses mouth" that Ratzinger would be Pope.
Now the point here that report that Ambassador James Nicholson did just a few months would have been no doubt have been in the Pipe Line. But because we do not see it in the wikileak documents we get the impression that the State Department and thus the President might have been caught flatfooted. Well it appears the opposite is the case. Again we don't see all the information only certain building block to give the whole picture.
Something to keep in mind in this saga.
I intend to email him pretty soon "with my ideas".
Meet John Vining.
Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for December is:
"That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better understanding the situation of unease and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick or aged, and stir us all to give them generous help".
His mission intention is:
"That the peoples of the earth may open their doors to Christ and to His Gospel of peace, brotherhood and justice".
Monday, November 29, 2010
is a case study on why I never read the comment section at newspapers. Goodness look at the first eight. Are these people even intellectually curious? Feel safe enough to get out of their comfort zone? They are like ready to pounce!!
An way Amy Welborn's excellent article can be found here.
This should be obvious but for many it is not. I have this before and I will say it again. There are too many immigration reform "leaders" who prime purpose is not to get components of immigration reform passed but to make Republicans look bad. That is one reason Comp Immigration Reform did not pass in 2007.
Now a very important Latino voice that knows what he is talking about is speaking out.
Yes it was there!! I would like a raise of hands. How many of your priest took like 60 seconds to explain this passage that so many Rapture folks tell us about? Sadly it did not occur in my Parish which was a missed opportunity.
The Sacred Page though has a good post on this here.
The UK Catholic Herald has a nice piece on what Pope Benedict said on the Priesthood. See Let’s move on from condoms. What the Pope said about the priesthood is more interesting
The conversation ranged over a large number of topics, to which the Holy Father responded with great frankness and originality. I am thinking especially of his reply to a question raised by Seewald on the need for married priests. This is part of what the Pope said:
“I believe that celibacy becomes a very meaningful sign, and above all possible to live, when priests begin to form communities. It is important for priests not to live off on their own somewhere, in isolation, but to accompany one another in small communities, to support one another, and so to experience, and constantly realise afresh, their communion in service to Christ and in renunciation for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”..................
Fr Bertram’s suggestion, which the Pope seems to gesture towards in his reply above, is that seven or eight priests of a particular area might live together in “association” – not a “college” but more than a deanery – and thus parishes could support them more easily. He cites Vatican II for encouragement of this form of a common life, “to deliver priests from the dangers that often arise from loneliness.”
There is no need to cite the obvious dangers arising from isolation; this and its consequent loneliness are quite bad enough in themselves. Even Pope Benedict – who might be described as a kind of ‘prisoner in the Vatican’ – fondly describes his own little “community” within its walls: he, his two secretaries and the four nuns who look after them, share meals, watch DVDs together and join in the celebration of Mass and each other’s birthdays. I am sure this small community helps to make the burdens of his office more endurable and less lonely. Parish priests, no less than the Holy Father, need fellowship, mutual support, the company of their fellows – in short, communities. I have known several cases of priests cracking under the strain of their lives. These were good and conscientious men, struggling to live their vocation. They did not abandon it; they were simply crushed by all the demands made on them......
Whoa talk about a hornets nest there. I have observed locally how something similar was tried and many Priests were not pleased. Basically they had lived alone all their life and now they were going to have "roommates". It is amazing the issues that come up. What do you mean I can't bring my DOG/CAT/ PET Ferret to the new house. That is just the tip of the iceberg
There is a lot of course to what the Pope is saying and what the the other Priest is expounding on that has merit. However in some Dioceses in the USA that are having an abundance of vocations where Priests are living together again there is sometimes tension.
I have seen in a few places a Priest remark "If wanted to live in community with other Priests I would have become a religious!!" Well that is a good point too. That does not mean they don't want community with other Priests but maybe not a community that involves seeing you for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Oh it is that time of year of coaching changes!! The biggest LSU board has reactivated it's Coaching Changing board that is always fun!!. It keeps track of a lot of non LSU coaching changes to say the least
LSU of course will be in the mix. Is Les Miles leaving? Will Les Miles get a contract extension? Is Gary Crowton and other staff to be fired? RUMORS RUMORS RUMORS.
One bit of advice. It is safe to ignore anyone that said their source is someONE from the Tiger Athletic Foundation (TAF). Yes the all powerful all knowing TAF. Being part of TAF does not mean you are in the inside the mind of the AD. Even if you "donate" a lot.
In Baton Rouge knowledge of the inside working of the LSU Football program is a sign of influence and power. So constantly people are bantering the latest inside scoop they get.
The problem is 9 times out of 10 they are wrong.
We saw this a couple of years back in the LES MILES is going to Michigan saga. We were told by countless "connected" people that their source in TAF or elsewhere told them all sort of things.
Steve Spurrier is coming to LSU - SIGNED SEALED AND DELIVERED (TAF SOURCE)
Tommy Tuberville is coming to LSU -SURE THING (TAF OR LSU AD SOURCE)
Of course NONE of this was happening. As we have now seen on all sort of LSU football related matters about 99 percent of what these posters say as to information they got from TAF / Athletic department sources is wrong on all sort of things.
The latest being: TAF source says informed that NCAA to vacate all wins of Auburn. Winner of Arkansas/LSU game to go to SEC Championship game. This has circulated quite a bit.
Well it is Monday morning and there is no indication at all that Arkansas is game planning to play South Carolina this week.
On that board there is one person that has seems to be a reliable source as to the to the LSU Board of Supervisors. You can take that persons info to the bank usually. Besides that the others not so much.
So while all this is fun just realize about 99 percent of what you hear is false.
I will give a more full overview of what I think about this wikileaks cablegate mess. HINT- I don't think it is a great day for Democracy as I see being parroted around.
Still the cables are interesting to some degree though they basically tell us what we already know.
That being said expect the VATICAN to make an appearance and big time. These cables go back actually a few decades. From the mid 1800's American Diplomats in Rome were begging to have more money sent so they could upgrade their operations and have more dinners. As they said ROME had more worldwide information than any other place in the world.
This was in large part because the worldwide operation of the Catholic Church is "headquartered" there of course. The Catholic Church has had access to places many Governments do not. Henry Kissinger once noted the Vatican is the best intelligence agency in the world for information but has no idea what to do with 80 percent of the info.
Our most recent former Envoy to the Holy See said recently the Vatican/ Holy See has always been regarded as an important world wide listening post. That is one reason why FDR had an unofficial operation there (how that was funded we are not sure) and why Truman was screaming he needed an official envoy to the Holy See. Of course the United States had to wait till 1984 for that to happen.
We have some indication that cables regarding the sad Sex abuse scandal are included in the cable grab. See here where it is confirmed.
I have a feeling that many of the Cables will confirm what we already know. That because of the health of the John Paul the II and the Vatican being on death watch Rome was paralyzed from acting in a more quick fashion.
However I don't expect that to be the real meat. It all depends all far back these cables pertaining to the Catholic Church go back as to the ROME and the later Holy See embassy. It also depends what is caught in this illegal document grab. Needless to say not every diplomatic cable was grabbed thank God.
I was reading a quite entertaining and informative cable dated 1979 from the Iran embassy on having to deal with Persian EGOTISM. So we know some of this stuff goes back to a great degree.
Further information could be coming from our Diplomatic staff in such place as Eastern Europe and especially Central America. We do know that all these regions have been mentioned in the first batch released.
While there is a lot of emphasis on the newer cables the older cables appear to be out there .
Things of interest to watch are many. The John Paul II shooting, the Cold War and the Vatican, Central and South America in the 80's, etc.
Since it appears the "majority" of cables focus on more recent matters traffic regarding both Gulf Wars/ Conflicts , Vatican concern over U.S. involvement with planned parenthood abroad, The Mexico City protocol and their views on the EU might be there too.
We shall know I guess what comes out after what appears to be a orchestrated release of info for the next month.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I talked on this subject yesterday at Southern Poverty Law Center Attacks Three Major Catholics In Public Life.
It generated some opposing comments (and what blogger does not LOVE COMMENTS) so I thought in the fairness of the views expressed there I should try to answer them.
Warning sort of a long post here!! Perhaps TOO long but it is what it is.
To recap I think it is very silly to call the National Organization For Marriage a hate organization. I also think beyond the gay marriage debate this is very bad basic civics on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center for many reasons.
The reason N.O.M is being targeted is they have had some electoral success so it appears that must be stopped. Out comes the "hate implication".
I am not that old but I am not that much of a babe either. As a young man, I was often against unjust discrimination against people that had varying degrees of same sex attraction.
The people that argued that there should be no gay American public school teachers or were against repeal of certain repressive criminal sanctions for sodomy said before you know it we shall have gay marriage. Back them a lot of gay rights advocates said that was SILLY PARANOIA . Well it appears not!!
Now I am still for not laws that put people in jail for sodomy in American society or for the firing of gay public school teachers. However; because I refuse to now to endorse gay marriage I have gone from enlightened tolerate Catholic dude to hater all in the space of just two decades.
Before I get to the comments, let me talk about a new charge of so called paranoia that being talked about.
Among the many charges I am seeing leveled against N.O.M and others is they are being misleading and spreading falsehoods. One instance of this I saw was regarding N.O.M and others saying that gay marriage as a right could lead to a legal right of polygamy.
HOW SILLY THE GAY MARRIAGE ADVOCATES SAY. Typical paranoia coming from the hate groups like N.O.M. and the sort sent by assorted email each day.
My question is why is it silly? In fact it is quite logical. First , unlike gay marriage, we actually see legal sanctioned polygamy in the history of the world. So in a sense polygamy has a leg up on the idea of gay marriage right off the bat.
Further it appears the "Right" to gay marriage seems in essence based in the obligation of society to recognized , sanction, and give public endorsement to the sexual actions of persons of the same sex. That is that sexual act is an expression of a "LOVE" that society must be acknowledge.
On the flip side those that do not agree with this endorsement will receive the usual formal government , and informal sanction in many ways. I will show what I mean by this later in this post.
So why not polygamy? Most gay right groups that support gay marriage say they represent the interest of Gay, Lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered individuals.
As I have not a hundred times on this blog that "bisexual" goes out the window in many of their press releases and other matters. Look at that GAY preacher in the hotel rule with a male escort. Look at the GAY Senator in that airport restroom. Uh what happened to bi?
Part of this is known to us that have friends of deep seated same sex attraction. That is many gays often view "bi" people with distrust. Fakers who are really gay in their words.
I personally am I am not a great fan of the term"bi" myself for reasons of my own. However many people have varying degree of same sex attraction in their life. For some it is a fleeting for others well it might be more lifelong.
The question is this. If society has an obligation to recognize gay marriage which also means recognizing various related Fundamental and Liberty interests why not polygamy. Why should there be discrimination against people that find love in Unions of THREE. If one is bisexual it applies that ones "loves" need to be found in a union of three.
The various arguments for gay marriage in the civil context I have heard is family stability and to perhaps play a role in making especially gay men more monogamous. It would appear that would be needed if not more in the union of three (whether bi or heterosexual based) even more!
In other words would the LOVES of a Union of two given more weight than a union of three in the legal world. Gay right advocates say that prohibitions of gay marriage are based on nothing more than bigotry and religious viewpoint. We are learning more and more any religious taint on the law as to this subject is viewed as almost fruit of the poisonous tree and this invalid. Well if that is true then how after we get gay marriage how do we keep polygamy out?
Now I did not mean to berate this one point but it is something that curiously a lot of gay rights organizations wish to declare paranoia while having one would think a substantial number of bi members.
At the very least it should be discussed. My argument here is not to discuss the merits or non merits of polygamy. However when we are discussing marriage as a "RIGHT" it is a useful avenue to go down to help clarify if or if not gay marriage is a right at all. Regardless I do not see it as unthinkable that the Court could grant polygamy rights in the future if gay marriage is allowed. Again the reasoning of how we get to the RIGHT of gay marriage is well important.
Now on to the comments in my previous post.
First lets get out of the way the charge that people that oppose gay marriage are no different than people tha topposed interracial marriage and other laws against people of other races.
From Mr Spears that comments twice and in which I respond to in some detail as to to the racial analogy:
....For Catholics to claim that it would destroy their own rights to allow non-Catholics to marry the person of his or her own choice is the same as my grandparents claiming that it destroyed their rights to enjoy a meal in a restaurant when people of color were eventually given the right to enjoy a similar dining experience.....
..But it is remarkable how much you remind me of my grandparents. I can vividly remember them saying that most niggers do not want to do any race mixing any more than whites do. They asserted they did not hate and often said, "We love the niggers, but the niggers need to stay in a nigger's place, and the white's need to stay in a white's place."
If only one person of color wanted to eat at the lunch counter, he should have been allowed to do so, and if only one same sex couple want to record their marriage at the courthouse, they should be allowed to do so...
Well what to say to all that. It is indeed common charge. I guess because I have actually studied the legal background to such laws I found this folly the first time I heard it.
I allude to this in the comments but it was not uncommon at all for interracial unions to be found in the early parts of American's colonial history. In fact if you ancestors got here early enough and migrated through what is now called North Carolina it was not uncommon for the people in charge to much more concerned about class issues than racial issues.
Dr Francis Beckwith I think does a very good job of showing how this analogy is false. See Interracial Marriage and Same-Sex Marriage. The whole thing is worth a read about how those laws came into existence. However let me quote these parts:
I learned that “at common law there was no ban on interracial marriage.”1 What does that mean? It means that anti-miscegenation laws were not part of the jurisprudence that American law inherited from the English courts. Anti-miscegenation laws were statutory in America (though never in England2), first appearing in Maryland in 1661 after the institution of the enslavement of Africans on American soil. This means that interracial marriage was a common-law liberty that can only be overturned by legislation.
Dr Beckwith then goes into a brief and interesting history on why laws were used to override this common-law liberty.
He later says:
Anti-miscegenation laws, therefore, were attempts to eradicate the legal status of real marriages by injecting a condition—sameness of race—that had no precedent in common law. For in the common law, a necessary condition for a legitimate marriage was male-female complementarity, a condition on which race has no bearing........
In other words, the fact that a man and a woman from different races were biologically and metaphysically capable of marrying each other, building families, and living among the general population is precisely why the race purists wanted to forbid such unions by the force of law. And because this view of marriage and its gender-complementary nature was firmly in place and the only understanding found in common law, the Supreme Court in Loving knew that racial identity was not relevant to what marriage requires of its two opposite-gender members. By injecting race into the equation, anti-miscegenation supporters were very much like contemporary same-sex marriage proponents, for in both cases they introduced a criterion other than male-female complementarity in order to promote the goals of a utopian social movement: race purity or sexual egalitarianism...................
Ok, before same sex marriage advocates get upset he is not saying you are bad ole racist of course.
This is why, in both cases, the advocates require state coercion to enforce their goals. Without the state’s cooperation and enforcement, there would have been no anti-miscegenation laws and there would be no same-sex marriage. The reason for this, writes libertarian economist Jennifer Roback Morse, is that “marriage between men and women is a pre-political, naturally emerging social institution. Men and women come together to create children, independently of any government.” Hence, this explains its standing as an uncontroversial common law liberty. “By contrast,” Morse goes on to write, “same-sex ‘marriage’ is completely a creation of the state. Same-sex couples cannot have children. Someone must give them a child or at least half the genetic material to create a child. The state must detach the parental rights of the opposite-sex parent and then attach those rights to the second parent of the same-sex couple............
Now there is a argument here that I can here coming. Well what about old people and married people that cannot have children!! I am not going to address that here because this post is going to be long enough already. However if there is interest I can address that argument in another post. However the point of that last paragraph is huge. This is a pre-political naturally emerging social institution.
As I mentioned in the comments even in areas where some some same sex activity was condoned and perhaps even celebrated you never or rarely saw gay "marriage".
On the other hand we have seen races intermarry and form unions since the beginning of time. It is in essence the ultimate apples and oranges.
So while being against gay marriage is the same as being against interracial marriage makes a effective 30 second talking point on CNN it does not hold up.
Now lets get to the other matter.
Mr Clancy said:
.....If NOM and their ilk do not believe in same-sex CIVIL marriage, then they should avoid marrying someone of the same sex. Nobody is going to interfere with church rituals or force churches to perform marriages they don't want to. (And of course, Catholic priests refuse opposite-sex marriages at their discretion as well.)
You leave us alone, and you won't be labelled a hate group, people. Keep trying to legislate a group of your fellow Americans as second-class citizens, and reap what you sow.
Mr Spears said:
Nobody is trying to stop anyone from engaging in a "traditional" marriage or a Catholic marriage. It is the bigots of the National Organization of Marriage who are thus far succeeding in stopping other Americans from the free practice of their own religion, and the fulfillment of their own desires to live with dignity and freedom.........
..........I have no idea who this Andrew Sullivan is, perhaps he is a red herring that you are trying to introduce into the controversy, but nobody is trying to interfer with the marriages of the Catholics or the marriages of members of National Organization of Marriage. It is these hateful bigots who are denying rights, privileges, and freedoms to other Americans because of a personality trait that they did not choose, and cannot change.
I mention Andrew Sullivan in the comments because of this work in the gay community in promoting the concept of gay marriage. One does not have to have a Queer studies degree from one of our leading Universities to know there was much opposition to that concept in the gay community. So it was not attempt at a red herring. It was an attempt to show how even in the gay, bi, transgendered community itself that many people did not seem to think of this as a RIGHT. In fact many opposed it as trying to put a heterosexual box on gay men and lesbians.
Now these people no doubt wanted the right to live with and do whatever they pleased with members of the same sex. But marriage itself?
Now getting back to the comments. This is what I call the Libertarian fantasy world that people regardless of often political party or sexual attraction advocate. Heck I suppose there might be a very few gay rights Libertarians that actually believe it and would live it if possible.
That is seen in the talk "we shall not force Churches to marry gay people" and the like. How does this affect you and such
Except this is all based on such a naive attitude. For the most parts gay rights groups do not want to in the end have "live and let live"
Now the serious gay marriage advocates know that the opposition is not truly worried about a Priest having to marry to people of the same sex. Again it is often a good blurb to throw out in our 24 hours news cycles but that is not the issue.
As I have said before this is where I really respect the goals of the gay marriage advocates and their real reasoning.. THEY GET IT!!
What is it they get ?
They get the logic of law and morals. They truly get the logic of Lincoln's famous Coopers Union address. By the way I did not make the connection between this debate on gay marriage and the great Cooper Union speech on my own. That was from benefit of listening to the great Hadley Arkes.
It is so important I am going to excerpt a large part of it:
The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.
These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas' new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.
I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this way. Most of them would probably say to us, "Let us alone, do nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery." But we do let them alone - have never disturbed them - so that, after all, it is what we say, which dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of doing, until we cease saying.
I am also aware they have not, as yet, in terms, demanded the overthrow of our Free-State Constitutions. Yet those Constitutions declare the wrong of slavery, with more solemn emphasis, than do all other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall have been silenced, the overthrow of these Constitutions will be demanded, and nothing be left to resist the demand. It is nothing to the contrary, that they do not demand the whole of this just now. Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do, they can voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal right, and a social blessing.
Nor can we justifiably withhold this, on any ground save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality - its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension - its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this?
Whoa I am about to get myself in trouble again. First it appears I saying that gay marriage advocates and segregationist share a common legal basis. Now I am talking about SLAVE OWNERS. No I am not comparing people that support same sex marriage to slave owners. The key to that passage is one line "If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away.."
Lincoln got it and same sex marriage advocates get the basic logic. That is if "same sex marriage or same sex acts are a right then all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it , are themselves wrong and should be silenced and swept away."
That is why some form of Civil Unions will not do as we saw in California. That was not enough. It must be based in the specific moral anchor of marriage.
That is why after the famous Loving case dealing with interracial marriage the gig was up. The fundamental right of marriage between two races (recovered as we see above) meant all sort of other fundamental laws and liberties came into play. There were a whole new regime of laws to show the new ways of doing things. Or to more apt to recover the true common law liberty right of doing things.
We have seen this attitude twice recently as to the Catholic Church in the USA. In the City of San Francisco we saw the quite radical step of the Board of Supervisors of getting involved with the internal affairs of the Catholic Church.
Again if "same sex marriage or same sex acts are a right then all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it , are themselves wrong and should be silenced and swept away."
Already at this early stage of development of the same sex marriage laws we saw huge implication in the District of Columbia as to the Catholic Church and her mission.
Again if "same sex marriage or same sex acts are a right then all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it , are themselves wrong and should be silenced and swept away."
This will occur more and more. The tension of the right to associate and the right not to associate come in of course. There will be sanctions for not going along with this new fundamental liberty interest. One could even see this in child custody cases where ones views of the same sex acts come in under best interest of the child cases. Looking at the comments people like me are the KLAN. I suspect in a custody case the judge is going to put the child in the custody of the less friendly Klan parent. Are people that have rather Christian Orthodox views the new Klan?
I suspect in some legal jurisdictions that might already be happening.
So in other words I am not buying "this does affect you" argument. Already in the UK (the canary in the coalmine) we have this case. Religion: UK Christian couple with anti-gay beliefs denied foster children, sue .
I was following this debate on twitter and many gay marriage folks had about the same opinion as the American guy that wrote the above article:
The fact is such religious beliefs are morally problematic. Discrimination against gays and lesbians is immoral. Simply hiding behind religious superstition does not make that immorality go away.
For too long Christians have tried to justify their ugly homophobia, and their attending discrimination and ostracization of members of the GLBT community, with religious superstition. It is time to call a bigot, a bigot, regardless of religious affiliation. And bigots have no business delivering foster care to anyone.
Again I respect that reasoning . It is honest! It is not trying to hide behind 30 second sound blurbs. In other words as to the words of Lincoln:
If "same sex marriage or same sex acts are a right then all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it , are themselves wrong and should be silenced and swept away."
I think that view above is more of concrete political reality of the effects of this debate than the Libertarian one we see bantered about. I also think that is what most believe.
Regardless it appears the issues are great here. N.O.M has a needed place at the table to explain their position and to show what they think the consequences would be. They and indeed I are not haters.
Politico has a pretty decent article at Democratic South finally falls.
First let me say I am always wary of the (insert political group/party/faction) is going extinct stories. Even in the case of the Southern Democrat party it was too early to say that. In fact even though I am a strong supporter of the Republican party I believe in the need of the two party system. So I am not exactly cheering all this.
The pieces biggest failing is again the elephant in the room that no one can talk about. That is how certain parts of the 1964 Voting Rights acts is killing the Democrat party. That is the pre clearance provision. That provision allows the State to create election districts that are a composed of a majority of ethnic minority voters. These provisions for the most part apply just to the Southern States. These districts though racially gerrymandered often are seen basically as a remedy for the South's past political sins.
Practically every Southern Congressman (including GOP) vote for this when it comes up for extension.
The result is often at the Local, State and Federal level every black person that is able is put into one of the districts. The result is the other districts become whiter. While in the short term you might get more black faces that are democrats the overall democrat power wanes. We shall see this again occur in such States as Mississippi next year. In Louisiana we are seeing early signs of this dynamic play out as republicans, conservatives ,and largely black democrats go about their every decade redistricting alliance. I am willing to guess that many people that have switched to the GOP have an idea how their districts might be withdrawn .
This to say the least this is very bad civics. Coalition voting goes out the window as to both racial groups. In fact I think it has increased racial political tensions without need over the years.
The article is right that races have become very NATIONALIZED. Louisiana congressman Charlie Melancon is interviewed for this piece and he gives his two cents about that! He also also talks about how technology has changed things for the democrats in the South. That is it is much more difficult to say "I am a different kind of Democrat".
Now while technology might make that claim harder to prove it is not the cause. Every since the Catholic bosses and Southern conservatives (The Hale Boggs Faction) lost the party Convention rules and delegate fight.
When in 1980 the Democrat feminists got a gender equality act the die was really cast. Now by party rules certain amounts of Democrat Party Convention delegates must be "X" race and "X" gender. Certain racial and gender political groups of a more political bent have been able to take advantage of this to basically rule the national party. Their grip has not not weaken. Mark Stricherz has done a wonderful job showing this in his book.
Mark gives a very good interview where he talks about critical points in the late 60's and in 1980 that occurred within the Democrat party:
DH: When people talk about the changes in the Democratic Party on life issues and religion, they usually point to the 1992 convention that nominated Bill Clinton and the refusal to let Gov. Bob Casey speak there. That's 20 years between 1972 and 1992. Weren't there other important watershed events that led to the Casey moment?
MS: Yes. The key event was really the McGovern Commission in 1969, adding implied quotas for female delegates. The percentage of female delegates went from 13 percent in 1968 to 43 percent by 1972. The second big event happened in 1980, when feminists succeeded in getting a measure that required half of all delegates to be female. So if you were running as a delegate from your county or congressional district, one out of two of you had to be female. This was not done in the interests of equality; this was done because the feminists had an agenda. They wanted abortion on demand; they wanted to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed; they wanted to control the platform.
DH: So the women who came in were ideologically aligned and didn't necessarily represent the women of the party, much less the women of the United States. After that, what were some of the other watershed events that manifested the changes inside the party?
MS: Well, they're not changes so much as results of the 1969 and 1980 requirements. In 1984, for example, feminists demanded and got a woman on the national ticket, Geraldine Ferraro. In 1992, feminists were basically exercising a veto power over anyone trying to reach the national stage, in that case Bob Casey. They exercised veto power over the platform; there was no dissent at all.
I'm not a Republican, but by contrast, pro-choicers in the Republican Party are treated quite well; they run for president in 1996 and 2008, and Giuliani has a shot at winning it (though I don't think he will). There's no counterpart in the Democratic Party where a social conservative is going to do that.
At some point in the South trying to say you are a "different" type of democrat will not work because well you might be "different" but are powerless. The Democrat party for all effective purpose have made it impossible for a conservative (especially on some some social issues) Presidential nominee to ever win the nomination. Thus when the Democrats control the executive branch there is very little to moderate liberal direction or viewpoint of it.
This has played a role in the slow steady trend to the Republican party. Further we are seeing a great explosion in feelings toward federalism, or what some people call state rights. This is becoming a much more GOP ID movement in reality. This is natural. When one Party has made it impossible for a more Federalist friendly person to take office the opposition will be filled on the local and state level by the opposition party. Thus I think we see another reason for GOP takeovers of State legislatures.
The article correctly points out that migration into the South might allow continued opportunities for democrats in the BURBS. Well this might be true. However this migration has been occurring for many decades. It does not seem overall to be helping mitigate the GOP trend in the South or indeed the burbs. There might be a election cycle or two where it is helpful but then it appears the normal trend continues.
The extent of his reckless treason and its ramifications have been exposed full tilt in the release of Diplomatic Cables by Wilkileaks this morning.
I don't know a lot about the law of Treason but I intend to find out. I suspect the PFC might have already made a deal with the Government. But if not I hope the Government takes a serious look at upgrading to the most serious charges available.
LSU fans (some) are in meltdown mode this morning after the Arkansas this morning. It was a sloppy game on both sides and boy did the Arkansas crowd play a role in that game. I HATE PLAYING IN LITTLE ROCK.
But a great season and a nice bowl to go to. Hardly no one was predicting LSU to go 10 and 2 in regular season and lets admit it was exciting getting there.
LSU had the prime time spot on TV most of the season on CBS. Les Miles and LSU has made themselves must see football. I don't see that changing.
OH MY PHONE AND INTERNET CONNECTION IS UP so good morning
Happy Church New Year too boot.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Update- Because I enjoyed the comments to this post I thought they were do a much more through response. See Is Robert George and the National Organization of Marriage Haters - Part II after reading this post.
This time I think the Southern Poverty Law Center has bitten off more than it can chew this time. Legal Insurrection is likewise astonished that the National Organization of Marriage is now for all purposes called a "hate group". See SPLC Demonizes Supporters of Traditional Marriage.
As you can see this guy is very happy. See via It's Official: Southern Poverty Law Center Labels NOM a Hate Group . Now they have not technically called it a HATE GROUP YET but is is clear they pretty much think it. No doubt that might be next.
The Southern Poverty Law Center is a frustrating group. It has done and still does good work on true racism and hate. However it now has a pattern of expanding that label to such wide array of groups it is just getting silly. That is indeed sad. Because of it good work in some areas it gets a pass on this trend that has been going on for years.
I have a feeling this time will be different.
The National Organization of Marriage is headed and has the involvement of many important Catholics in the public square. Those include
Those are (and this list is not a exclusive one) its President Brian Brown, Maggie Gallagher (NOW AT AVE MARIA LAW SCHOOL) and last but not least Princeton's Robert George.
Robert George is very respected and once after the word gets around after the Thanksgiving holiday is over expect a lot of outrage. Oh and by the way Robert George has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Further N.O.M and George especially have a good relationship with many Catholic Bishops.
I expect Robert George to have a very forceful response in the next couple of days.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I talked about this a few days ago at Catholcs Asking What Is Wrong At L’Osservatore Romano (Updated)
One of the best Vatican reporters around John Allen actually offers a good defense of the Vatican newspaper. See In defense of L’Osservatore Romano. He lays out the fact that what we got people steaming, the violation of the Embargo on the book in question, really is not their fault.
He mentions that perhaps some on the "right" are still steaming about the paper's perhaps too optimistic view of Obama in the early days. Something that even Archbishop Chaput felt he had to correct. However besides the envy question he raises I think for Americans the problem is what I stated earlier in the week:
Part of this is not their fault. The Vatican Newspaper is suppose to be good reading and like the Church itself there is a diversity of opinion in it.. Diversity of opinion that all fits in the Orthodox realm of Catholicism. However journalists that should know better constantly try to fit ALL it's reporting or all opinion pieces as the official viewpoint of the Vatican or WORSE the Pope himself.
See the relative trivial VATICAN SAYS SIMPSONS ARE CATHOLIC episode for just one example of when multiplied become annoying and time consuming to explain.
It would really be help at the next relgious news reporter conference John Allen could give a L’Osservatore Romano 101 to the journalist there on these matters.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
An interesting article here via an AUSSIE Catholic newspaper of all places. See Iraq chaplain tells of toll on families
Get Religion highlights a very good conference that happened talking about the Press , the Vatican, and the Sex Abuse Crisis. See Reflections on the Vatican 2010 sex abuse crisis.
Hopefully that will make you go see the entire article that is linked.
After reading that article I have a very huge frustration level toward Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times. It seems that even at this late date she still does not get crucial parts of this story.
Okay, so let’s get to the juicy part. Goodstein said that when she began reporting, she accepted the “Ratzinger the Reformer” idea:
Yet, she said, the 2010 stories upended that narrative, which placed the responsibility entirely on bishops for the failure to report and remove abusers. This year we learned of one case after another, she said, in which bishops were pleading urgently with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Ratzinger to laicize a known molester, and the CDF rejected those requests. And, she added, we were always told that the CDF had nothing to do with these cases until 2001, but that turned out to be false also. In fact, they were handling them all along.
As a footnote, Goodstein said that much of the reporting was based on documents — though she didn’t add this herself, usually documents obtained from victims’ lawyers. Those documents, she said, are the most revelatory evidence we have. The documents come from attorneys, she said, because the church sure is not handing them over.
First off as that no she is wrong on this again.
However let me comment. First of it is not true that CDF "were handling" all these cases all along. How she can still have this viewpoint at this date is beyond me.
The CDF was handling cases relating to the crimes against the confessional (Sacrament of Penance). If a sex abuse case fell into this juridisction the CDF handled it. While I don't know the numbers ,I have to think these were a minority of the cases to say the least. By the way I don't think this was a big secret that these cases were going here as to this juridisdiction issue.
Second Goodstein seems to still be hung up on the Lacize issue. As I noted when this story broke (this broke big time in the Oakland Priest Story) even some of the biggest critics of the Vatican were trying to explain how largely this was viewed as a non issue. That is often priests that are removes from public ministry or just leave are in fact never technically lacized.
In a sense we almost got the idea from reading the media that the Vatican could magically relieve a Priest of all his "priest powers" by signing some document. What was at issue here was in almost all these cases the removal of the vow of celibacy. To repeat the Vatican had a iron clad rule that in most cases no PRIEST that had left or had been removed from active ministry could be dispensed from this vow before a certain age.
As I kept saying I never understood the media fetish with this. So the Church should move heaven and earth to dispense a vow so these child abusing priests can marry and have kids? It never made any sense. Further does not this push by the media on this issue seem shortsighted. I mean it is great PR for the Church because they can "wash their hands" of these Priests by putting them in the legal Lay state. Still is that productive? Maybe they have done it but in the end many of us that have followed sad scandal this since the Diocese Lafayette of Louisiana 80's days though this was a unproductive red herring.
Regardless those "dispensations" cases came in front of the CDF in these cases. That does not mean the CDF was "handling" the actual sex abuse case. Again I am not sure why this NYT's reporter still does not get that.
Thankfully Allen replies:
Goodstein's question thus was: Didn't the reporting of 2010 add something to what we thought we knew?
I said that for me, the reporting fleshed out the picture, but didn't fundamentally alter it.
First, it's still true that pre-2001, most sex abuse cases never reached Rome because bishops relied on informal remedies rather than laicization (which requires Vatican approval, and was seen by many bishops as a cumbersome, expensive, and uncertain process). We already knew that before 2001, Ratzinger's approach to the few cases which reached his desk wasn't notably different from other senior Vatican personnel. Thus to produce a 1985 letter in which he urges caution in laicizing Stephen Kiesle of Oakland, for example, is certainly interesting, but not a paradigm-changer.
That go-slow approach in the 1980s and 1990s, I argued, still has to be balanced against expedited handling of hundreds of cases beginning in 2003, when Ratzinger obtained "special faculties" from John Paul II allowing him to waive a canonical trial and to remove an abuser from the priesthood more efficiently.
One can certainly argue that his awakening came late, and that not enough has yet been done — perhaps especially in terms of matching the new accountability for priests with similar accountability for bishops. The fact remains, however, that the Vatican is today more committed to a "zero tolerance" policy because of Ratzinger's impact, both before and after his election.
If that point sometimes got lost earlier this year, it's probably one part a media failure to keep the whole picture in focus, and one part the Vatican's inability to project a different narrative.
Exactly!! Now what is a mystery here is why the NYT seem obsessed with the CDF. Well it is partly not a mystery because well Ratzinger is now Pope. Also there seems to be underlying theme that Ratzinger was the Dick Cheney VP of the Vatican. He knew all and every detail of what was happening everywhere. That seems like a false narrative to me.
But why not look at all the other Departments and Congregations where these cases seemed to be shipped too. I am not saying they were involved in "cover ups " or that things could not have been handled better. But pre-2003 cases it seems looking there would be more productive.
Anyway the whole thing including the Allen piece is a good read.
Sadly the President is under the undue influence of Plymouth Tourism board and fails to include the fact that the first Thanksgiving was Fransician and happened in New Mexico much earlier. AHH maybe next year.
Still very nice.
Of course this New Orelans Priest a lot more than that. He is pretty high demand in teaching "revivals" and retreats. This Diocese of Rochester, NY newspaper has a good article on a event he had for youth up there. See NFL team's chaplain talks about gratitude.
Oh and he is EVEN MENTIONED IN PEOPLE MAGAZINE TOO.
I love this part:
The new design was required by a bill passed by Rep. Damon Baldone, D-Houma, during the 2006 legislative session based on the historical research of Joseph Louviere, a Houma student, which indicated the existing pelican seal did not have the bird tearing at its breast.
Historical descriptions of the blue flag include the three drops of blood, described as a sign of the state's willingness to sacrifice itself for its citizens. The design goes back to medieval times, when people believed pelicans fed chicks with their blood.
Now what is missing from this report? ANY HINT that this is an ancient and popular symbol of Christ and the Eucharist and his death on the Cross for our salvation. I am not sure why we are ignoring this except to possibly fend off some silly Church State violation law suit.
The name for this symbol is "pelican in her piety" This has symbol for instance can be seen in art and stain glass in Catholic Churches here in America and especially in Europe. I actually had a old media from a old Eucharistic conference that had this symbol.
Also I don't think the THREE drops of blood has to deal with sacrificing for Citizens in reality though the Legislature might be using Christ as an sacrificial example here.
I have posted a great deal on this past (see with links to more pics my past post The Christian Symbolism of the Louisiana Flag and Seal ) .
The Louisiana state flag and seal, the pelican feeding its young, with the motto "Union, Justice, Confidence," have long been familiar symbols of the "Pelican State." The pelican feeding her young also has ancient Christian roots. It was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of "Jesus the Redeemer." An old legend held that a pelican would wound herself to feed her young with her own blood, which reminded early Christians of Jesus' act of sacrificial love in dying for them on the cross in remission for their sins. Saint Thomas Aquinas in his hymn, Adoro te devote, wrote, "Like what tender tales tell of the pelican, bathe me, Jesus Lord, in what Thy bosom ran, blood that but one drop of has the pow'r to win all the world forgiveness of its world of sin." It is also a reminder to Catholics that Jesus feeds us still today with the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The pelican feeding its young is still seen in many Catholic churches.In 1812 when Louisiana became the 18th state in the union, unofficial flags began appearing throughout the state with the pelican feeding its young on it. Then in 1813, Gov. W.C.C. Claiborne and the Louisiana legislature adopted the pelican feeding its young as the state's official seal. H.L.Favrot, a member of the legislature, is said to have found the pelican symbol in an old Catholic prayer book.
The Advocate has an overview of a question Miles got from a retired reporter about Erin Andrews. See here.
If you ever listen on a regular basis to "Ted" at Les Miles's Monday press conferences he is sort of a lose cannon and a eccentric in my view. . He often gets a few questions out of respect but often what he poses are not questions but rants and other observations. You should have heard him after the Tennessee game. So yeah I am not shocked with his candor and how Les often has to deal with it
Monday, November 22, 2010
Well this seems rather important. The ETS conference is one of those big events and I was not aware he was going to be there. Denny Burke has a post on this and if you go to the commentsWright engages even more.
SEE N.T. Wright on Justification at ETS
He now has a follow up post at Wrong about Wright?
I want to go I want to go!! The Diocese of Alexandria web site has the news at Cardinal Burke to celebrate Mass at Cathedral Dec. 1
Goodness all sorts of important Catholci things have been happening in little ole Alexandria lately.
Update John Allen Defends the Paper of Record (At the Vatican That is) See John Allen Gives Spirted Defense of L’Osservatore Romano in the Condom and Other Matters
I mentioned this briefly at my post The Pope Comments on Condoms and Journalism Negligence
In a real sense that is what has got a lot Catholic voices buzzing and people saying HEADS SHOULD ROLL!! I am actually not as a severe of a critic of L’Osservatore Romano (The Newspaper for the Holy See) as others but they do create problems at times.
Part of this is not their fault. The Vatican Newspaper is suppose to be good reading and like the Church itself there is a diversity of opinion in it.. Diversity of opinion that all fits in the Orthodox realm of Catholicism. However journalists that should know better constantly try to fit its ALL it's reporting or all opinion pieces as the official viewpoint of the Vatican or WORSE the Pope himself.
However this latest incident is something else. The fact that L'Osservatore seems to have violated the embargo on the book while others have not have got some people upset. Further the bad translation they put out played a part in the miscommunication.
Get Religion looks at this story behind the story (which might end up becoming the BIG story before this is done) at Vatican condomania: the day after.
I should not in that article is a very good piece linked by a Catholic I talk to some vai the blog and Twitter that has Same Sex Attraction. That is Courage Man and his post What I've been taught about condoms
Update- Back to the newspaper controversy. In Light of the Law has The continuing mess at L’Osservatore Romano
This Pope appears to be painfully shy at times which actually might his Bavarian reserve. So no doubt having a Bavarian interview him helped.
You spent six hours in conversation with Pope Benedict XVI. it would have been impossible even for the President of the United States to get that time, with the Pope. What do you have that Barack Obama does not?
I don't know! Fate? Foresight? Perhaps it's our common Bavarian heritage. We speak the same language. It makes it possible to ask about things without being shy, and to have a good discussion on every subject without cynicism. Of course, it was helpful that when he was Cardinal we had already done two of these interview books, which were not without effect! He is a team player, and we have been a winning team before.
What was it that clinched the deal, that enabled you to get this PR scoop?
I had made various approaches. The occasion for the project was the five-year jubilee of his Pontificate and the forthcoming publication of his second book on Jesus. In the end, the crisis atmosphere that developed after the revelation of more sexual abuses by priests in Europe clinched it. And so, he has expressed himself to me as no Pope has ever done before. It is a novelty in the history of the papacy... During which he has even said that in exceptional cases, the use of condoms may be acceptable.
Did you confine yourself to asking him only about the hot issues? And is there one question that came to you later that you would now like most to have him answer?
I did not leave out any questions that I really considered urgent. But because of the limited time, there were a number of subjects that I could not bring up as I would have wanted to. For instance, the scandal of increasing Christian persecutions worldwide. Or the phenomenon that a secular near-Godless society which has long considered the religion question 'settled', must suddenly confront the question of faith all over because of the spread of Islamic culture in their very midst. It would seem that an exhausted Christianity is no longer capable of dealing with these fundamental questions of existence in a public debate.
How many other questions remain to be asked?
About a thousand!
Were there questions that he did not want to answer?
None. I had presented a concept, but I did not specify the questions, nor did he then reject any of the questions I asked. For him, there are no taboo subjects. He left the spoken words remain as is, and when he reviewed the text for final authorization, he only made a few minor corrections here and there to make his meaning clear.
Which answer most surprised you?
There were many. From the earlier interviews, I already knew he is very precise, and also that he is a very original observer, very well-informed and quite abreast of the times. Add to that his unique formation and the skill to formulate complicated things in simple and easy to grasp terms. I knew to expect from his answers a multiplicity of nuances that one cannot immediately grasp. As in his reflections on the papacy, of ecumenism, questions of sexual morality, or in the area of AIDS prevention. And I was surprised by his answers to questions about the dialog with Islam.
In what way?
He integrates - one learns from him not to be too narrow nor too anxious in thinking about these things. He looks at things almost from God's perspective, in that he knows God is love, and excludes no one. And I was rather unsettled to hear how seriously be is concerned about the condition of mankind in our day - in the ecological, social, economic and especially spiritual aspects He asks along with all of us: What have we made of our dream for the planet? And of ourselves? His message is an appeal to the Church and the world, to every individual: It is time for change. Time for a conversion! "There are so many problems that must be solved, but they will not be resolved if God is not placed back in the center and made visible in this world", he says. Lately, he has often seemed embattled.
Did he seem so to you?
To lead a Church with 1.2 million members when you are 83 is no small job. It is hard to grasp how he can deal with his work load. In this sense, it is only natural if he looks tired and fragile. His concern over the Church, the often quite deficient support that he gets from his Church, and the slowness of the bureaucracy can obviously sometimes become a weight on his shoulders. But he is also able to regenerate himself fast. Like overnight. I do not know any other man who is as efficient, who is so fit and alert, and also so young and modern, as this old man on Peter's Chair.
Were there times during your conversations when he laughed?
Of course. He has a very subtle understated humor, but one can laugh with him. The public idea of him is that he is a fossilized type, some kind of bitter wood, a document eater, or some such. None of that is true. He is the very soul of a Mensch. I have been with him in a car and heard him sing along with the radio. We have always spoken about personal things. Because of course, people want to know what a Pope feels, what he does in his free time, and the like...
How would you describe the difference between Joseph Ratzinger and Benedict XVI, quite apart from the fact that they wear different hats ...
As I said before, first he is older. But when you sit across from him, then you feel right away that in his being, in his style, in his amiability, nothing has changed. Overall, I think, being Pope has brought forth his good qualities better than before, and that as Universal Pastor, he has become even more sensitive, more generous and wiser.
How do you explain that?
Probably because he is closer to God. He has seen the Light of the world and he reflects this light. For all his intellectual stature, he has remained a simple pious man.
Did he ask you any questions?
No, but then I did not give him time to do that. I had to use every second.
Have you eaten together?
Unfortunately, no. But that does not bother me. I was always glad after a session to be able to go somewhere quiet where I could smoke a cigarette and drink a beer.
Is there a question that you wonder why no one has asked you about the Pope?
I wonder above all that the same questions are always asked! Journalists today behave as though they can do any interview about the Catholic Church without any preparation as long as they stick to three topics: priestly celibacy, women priests, and Roman centralism - and when they can sell their rubbish about these topics from the 'reform' agenda, it makes them feel they have done something.
Next year, the Pope will be visiting Germany again. Did you discuss the fact that many Germans feel rather harsh about 'their' Pope?
That wasn't quite the discussion. But this problem is quite close to the Pope's heart. It's obvious to him that Germany is in many ways a fractured nation, afflicted with the proverbial German Angst and despondency. High Church functionaries are in lockstep with the anti-Roman drumbeat even if they ought to know better, and even if they have the clear mandate from the Gospel to go against the current. But that can also change. For instance we no longer have the dumbest ones, who lay so much on their unspeakable liturgies and also on their contribution to the deformations of the time.
Does the Pope share this hope?
He is not the pastor of a local German church. Globally he does not see the Catholic Church in decline. On the contrary, she has never been as big and as widespread as she is today.
Why do you think he provokes so many Germans, and even many Catholics in general?
Because the Church itself provokes. His positions, those of the Church, are not compatible with a leisure society. And yes, the Gospel itself is not compatible with such a society, and that is why many have forgotten what Catholicism really means. Many think that they can themelves 'build' their own Church, which really means that are becoming more like Protestants. What a joke! The Evangelical churches in Germany have been constantly losing, snce 1950, more members than the Catholic Church has.
Do you see that yourself, or does the Pope say so?
Anyone who wants to look can see it. Meanwhile, everyday we must experience anew how the image of this Pope is projected in the media. It has to do with a tendency that one recognizes from previous experience: The Pope is the class enemy who must be fought with whatever means possible. This is the 'new Germany' he will be visiting. That makes one wonder what he would answer to a whole series of other questions.